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DW Machined Direct Drive Bass Drum Pedals

DW Machined Direct Drive Bass Drum Pedals

Everyone knows the name of Drum Workshop these days as the company’s worldwide profile is just huge. However, while DW is best known for its drums, it has also long been known for its pedals. Certainly, I think my first sighting of the DW name was on a bass drum pedal and not a drum.

Direct drive pedals are not a new concept, but they are something new to Drum Workshop, as they have traditionally concentrated more on chain and strap drive pedals.

If you don’t know, or haven’t heard of a direct drive pedal before, it is different to a more regular chain-drive type of pedal because instead of a chain (or strap), the beater is propelled forward by a solid metal linkage. As this linkage is solid - as opposed to being made of something which can flex, albeit even slightly - the direct drive format can give a smoother and faster playing experience.

In the case of these new pedals, DW has taken the concept and run with it and these new pedals are packed with features, some of which have amazing sounding names too, including:

Solid aluminium construction, Optimized Fulcrum Geometry Linkage, Perforated Footboard with contoured heel plate, Interlocking Delta Hinge, Threaded Bearing Technology (TBT) in the drive linkage and cam, Tri-pivot swivel toe clamp, Solid aluminium direct-drive cam with pivot adjustment...

What you get as a result of all these features is a variety of choices allowing you to optimise your playing experience to however you might need it.

To take these pedals out of their respective cases, which are themselves very nicely thought out and made, you are greeted with something that looks familiar but also a little different. The most obvious visual aspect here is the black footplate with lots of holes in it.

Fitting the pedals is simple with DW’s Tri-Pivot clamping system which I really like as it works really nicely and easily.

I have to say these are lovely pedals to play. They are solid, well built and designed to be played. And, rather importantly, the performance of both models is as high as you’d expect. I found both models to be smooth and easy to use and I really enjoyed using them. Although I am normally quite happy to play a pedal out of the box as is, I had no problem adjusting the pedals even further. 

The beaters that come as standard are flat-headed and took me a little getting used to. I will say, however, that will be down to personal preference only and because my foot is used to a heavy plastic beater. That said, I tried my normal beater on the single version and it was way too heavy for me to use on that pedal. Yes, I did try and adjust it but even with some playing around, I could not find a tension that worked for me. I won’t lie though and say I spent that much time on it, I didn’t, I just couldn’t get a fairly quick fix with it. Anyway, it was a small point and didn’t affect my playing experience once I got used to the change in weight.

I am not a double kick player, and while I do own some high end double pedals, I would not say I am proficient by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. That aside though, the double version of the direct drive pedal was a huge amount of fun to play on. They possibly even convinced me I could play little accents better than I can. 

From experience, a double pedal setup can sometimes live or die on the quality of the linkage between the two pedals, because if the linkage isn’t strong or solid, then the slave pedal joint can wobble and affect your playing. As you might expect from DW, this wasn’t an issue here. The linkage is strong and sturdy, which is exactly what you want and need.

However…

As good as these pedals are, they are very expensive. So much so that they are probably going to be out of the reach of all but maybe the seasoned pro or the more well-off. Or, maybe those who are good at saving.

Part of me gets why they cost so much, the other part is almost a little disappointed that more people aren’t going to be able to be afford them should they want to. Would I want to own these pedals? Yes. Would I part with that much money for them? Tough to say for sure.

Either way, as I said, they are very good pedals and if money isn’t an option, then I can recommend them. Or just get saving!

Our own pedal video from NAMM 2014 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xzf44kfN54

Single pedal - https://youtu.be/eav9vlvkEtI

Double version - https://youtu.be/uadKXvomNb4

Check out more at - http://www.dwdrums.com/hardware/dwmfg/

David Bateman 

April 2015

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